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Amazing Autumn Produce

Our chefs are loving the fantastic seasonal changes to the produce we have coming in – from our garden and local suppliers. Beetroot is back on the menu with goats cheese mouse and pickled walnuts and we have some enormous red cabbages that are almost as big as gardener Alan! If you like crab it’s the perfect time to visit we have crab bisque with fresh Brill and mussels or crab and herb gnocchi with avocado. If meat is more your thing, we’ve got venison scotch eggs coming on and a stunning main of lamb chops with crispy sweetbreads which is fast becoming a new customer favourite. We change our menu daily depending on what is freshest and seasonal so pop in and see what produce has inspired our chefs that day.

Saying Goodbye Summer & The Shack in Style

It had to happen sometime…it finally got a bit too chilly to keep The Shack open so we had one last weekend celebrating summer in the garden and luckily the weather was with us. The sun shone and DJ Danny M played some perfect tunes on Saturday night as we lit the firepits and ate our last pizzas in the garden this year. All helped along with free marshmallows for kids and sloe gin for the adults. We’re hoping to see the Shack again before Spring for a little festive fun… we’ll keep you posted.

Halloween – Show us your knife skills

Our village of Ditching has a strong trick or treat tradition at Halloween and we love to see the pumpkins displayed in people’s windows – so we thought we’d have a kids competition so we can enjoy them up close and display them in the pub too. Bring your pumpkins to the pub with a £1 entry fee that will be donated directly to Ditchling St Margaret’s Primary School PTA by Monday 30th October and we’ll announce the winners on Halloween (Tuesday 31st) at 6pm at The Bull. Winners will receive a £10 book token – please ensure that all pumpkins entered are clearly marked with a name and age (categories judged in the following groups – 0-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12+).

Happy Kids in our New Play Area

It’s been brilliant to see all the children enjoying our new bespoke wooden play area. A big thank you to the Creative Coppice Company (David and the team) for their great design and craftsmanship using sustainably sourced Sussex woodland. We’re so glad how much everyone seems to like it – kids happy = parents happy! We aim to please…

Marshmallows, Music and Sunshine on the Bank Holiday Weekend

We were very lucky with the August bank holiday weather. It was such a fun weekend full of good food, drink, pizza, burgers .. and marshmallows! In the evenings we turned up the chillout music and handed out the free marshmallows to toast round the firepits. Everyone seemed to get into the mood chatting round the fire… Great British Pub of the Year style – a little bit camping – a little bit Ibiza.

Beef Brisket – Try our Customers’ Favourite Recipe

We have a dish on the menu at the moment that is proving so popular our customers won’t let us take it off – it has to go sometime so we thought we’d give you the recipe in case you miss it too much when it’s gone! Beef Brisket & Beer Sauce …

Our chefs like to use cheaper cuts of meat and take their time with them, putting in loads of flavour, Brisket is worth the wait! Roughly chop the vegetables and brown them in a deep roasting tray then add the brisket and pour over the stock. Cover with foil and braise in the oven at 180 degrees for 3-4 hours until the meat falls apart. Remove the brisket from the stock and leave to cool. Strain the braising liquor into the pan and reduce by 2/3rds. Once cool, pull the brisket apart, season and add some of the reduced stock to help bind it together. Roll the brisket mix in cling film to create a boudin (sausage) chill in the fridge until firm. Once firm, slice the sausage into 1 inch slices. Remove the cling film and pane in breadcrumbs (panko Japanese breadcrumbs are best) by dipping in flour, then egg, then the breadcrumbs. Deep or shallow fry until crispy and golden.

1kg beef brisket
1 litre veal/beef stock
1 stick of celery
1 carrot
1 onion

Beer Sauce
½ pint beer (dark is best)
½ pint veal stock
25g honey
2sp English mustard
50g butter
50g flour

Place the beer and stock in the sauce pan and bring to the boil, simmer and let reduce by a third, add the honey and mustard plus a pinch of salt. In a separate pan make a roux with butter and flour then add the beer and stock mix, stir until thick.

We serve this at the pub with a warm brioche on the side.

September – The Shack Staying Open

We’re hoping for an Indian Summer with a warm September so the Shack will be staying open 5pm on Fridays – 5pm on Sunday weather dependent. We’ll also be changing the menu up a bit to go with the Indian Summer theme later on in the month – our wood fired clay oven can do more than yummy pizzas!

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